END OF AN ERA

Last Japanese Pearl Harbor Pilot Dies

Kaname Harada, the last surviving combat pilot who flew for Japan in the attack on Pearl Harbor, died Tuesday at the age of 99. Harada became a pacifist after the war and expressed significant remorse over the American deaths he caused during his time in combat. During his time in battle, Harada was credited with shooting down nine Chinese, British, and U.S. planes on his own. After the Pearl Harbor raid, he trained other pilots for suicide missions against Americans. Harada farmed after he retired from combat, and spent the rest of his time hiding in fear from Americans and experiencing nightmares about wartime. “The war had turned me into a killer of men,” he had told The New York Times, “and that was not the kind of person I wanted to be.” Harada said, “I fought the war from the cockpit of a Zero, and can still remember the faces of those I killed. They were fathers and sons, too. I didn’t hate them or even know them.”